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Goforth aims to 'make a difference'
Colonial beach Town Council's four incumbents re-elected; retired federal employees joins governing panel

 Wanda Goforth is the new member of the Colonial Beach Town Council.
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Date published: 1/3/2013



Even though 2012 was an election year for five of the seven seats on the Colonial Beach Town Council, the council begins the new year with only a few changes.

Mike Ham moves up from councilman to mayor, while four incumbents on the November ballot all won re-election. The new face on the council is a woman who has never served in a local elected position.

Although Wanda Goforth, 68, was warned by a neighbor not to get involved with the challenges that local politics bring when she moved to town in 2006, she soon started attending Town Council meetings.

At some point, Mayor Fred Rummage began calling her "the town crier" because she carried town news back and forth. She also tried to get residents to come to council meetings and give their input as much as possible.

Goforth said she had been asked to run for council in the past and declined, but she decided to get into the race in November because the council included "like-minded" people she believes she can work with.

"This time, I felt that there was real hope for the town and that I could make a difference," Goforth said.

She was the only newcomer who ran in November, and she was elected with 621 votes.

Karen Payne was the last woman to serve on the council, and she stepped down in November 2011. Before that, Colonial Beach Tourism Council Chairwoman Trish King served on the council and as vice mayor.

Goforth was born and raised in Alexandria with three brothers, who are now deceased, and two sisters. Her father was a truck driver.

She has a grown son in Indiana and another in Lake Anna, and a daughter who is a law-enforcement official in Albemarle County.

Goforth retired in 2005 after a career that began as a secretary with the federal government and included a stint with the National Park Service and 10 years as vice president and then president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

She chose Colonial Beach as her new home.

"I love it here," Goforth said. "I really do. I call it a quirky little town, and it is."

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